“Growth & Decay” Charcoal Sculpture by Cornish sculptor James Eddy

  • 1st Sep 2011

This project was conceived as a year long-residency for an artist to explore, research and offer their own interpretation of The Lost Gardens of Heligan.

The brief for the project was “to produce sculptures that should reflect the essence and soul of Heligan, working with the themes of ‘Lost and Found’ and ‘Growth & Decay’.”

The charcoal sculpture “Growth & Decay” is the result of James Eddy's summer residency.

The aim of this sculpture was two-fold.  In one sense it is to celebrate the traditional skills of the charcoal burners and their contribution to the working estate of Heligan.  In the second sense, the charcoal illustrates a cycle of “Growth & Decay” and the role of fire in nature. Charcoal is formed due to a change to the state of the wood during the “burn”, highlighting the high carbon content.

The form of the sculpture mimics the nature of growth in plants reaching towards the sun, yet in decay also flowing back down into the earth, hence the referral to growth and decay.

With regard to the “Lost and Found” theme, solar energy is harnessed by trees into the world’s energy cycle; then lost through decay back into the soil, ready to be found again by new growth.

Made with charred timber and charcoal produced on site at Heligan. The form, colour and texture of the sculpture also provides a natural complementary contrast to the green of foliage and brown of the leaf litter.

Wednesday 12th October saw the Lost Valley Sculpture Growth and Decay revealed.

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